Dustin Moskovitz, one of the co-founders of Facebook, has donated tens of millions of dollars to defeat Donald Trump. Moskovitz is not one of the usual Democrat deep-pocketed suspects. Politico reports that his donations came “suddenly and without any advance warning to the top rung of Democratic party megadonors with two unheralded tears through his checkbook in the past six weeks. ”
The party is excited about adding their own Sheldon Adelson-esque donor into the political mix. Democrats don’t need as much money as Republicans do because Republicans don’t get billions of free media advocacy from the networks and cable stations, and they don’t get free promotion from the Hollywood crowd, from ESPN, from the NFL, and from “volunteers” from the labor unions.
“This is a unicorn-type campaign gift — you just don’t see someone basically walk into a campaign without a significant track record of activity and contribute at this level,” said veteran Democratic strategist Chris Lehane, a Clinton White House alum who works closely with top party donors in Silicon Valley.
Moskovitz is worth an astonishing $12.5B, money he made by profiting off of conservative and Republican use of the Facebook social media platform. Maybe it’s time to stop giving these folks the rope to hang us with?
The tech industry has long been partial to Democrat politicians, which is strange considering the party is usually at the forefront of innovation-crushing regulations.
But the $35 million from Moskovitz — who declined POLITICO’s request to talk about his political involvement — is far more than others have contributed, even though he wrote that such big donations to politics make him uncomfortable. And while top Democrats have developed close relationships with other Northern California luminaries as the community established itself as the party’s top money source, he has rarely been part of that circuit. (One email exchange released by WikiLeaks last week illustrates the dynamic: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in August 2015 asked Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta whether he would consider sitting down with Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg to discuss philanthropy and public policy, and Podesta agreed to set something up. Moskovitz’s name isn’t in any of the hacked Podesta emails.)
While an unknown in political philanthropy, Mokovitz’s Twitter feed is filled with political content.
But there was nothing before September that even hinted at the massive and sophisticated donation scheme he would unveil this time around. After announcing in September that he would drop $10 million into a Clinton campaign fund, the Senate and House Democrats’ campaign wings, MoveOn.org, the Color of Change PAC and voter registration and get-out-the-vote groups, plus $5 million each for the League of Conservation Voters and the union-backed For Our Future super PAC, he followed up early this month by pledging $7 million more to registration and mobilization organizations, $3 million to political groups, and $5 million to Priorities USA Action, the main pro-Clinton super PAC.
Democrats are wondering if Moskovitz’s donations are simply Trump-based, or if they have a new regular donor for all future campaigns.
“The Republican Party, and Donald Trump in particular, is running on a zero-sum vision, stressing a false contest between their constituency and the rest of the world. We believe their positions, especially on immigration, which purport to improve the lives of Americans, would in practice hurt citizens and noncitizens alike. In contrast, the Democratic Party, and Hillary Clinton in particular, is running on a vision of optimism, pragmatism, inclusiveness and mutual benefit,” Moskovitz wrote in September on behalf of himself and his wife, Cari Tuna, calling Trump’s promises “quite possibly a deliberate con, an attempt to rally energy and support without the ability to deliver. His proposals are so implausible that the nation is forced to worry that his interest in the presidency might not even extend beyond winning a contest and promoting his personal brand.”
Moskvitz is entitled to believe as he wishes and spend his money the same, but it’s time those of us in the center right decide if we want to participate in a system where we assist businesses that use their success to undermine us.